Johnson says he'll be in camp, but probably limited by ankle
CINCINNATI -- Receiver Chad Johnson said he'll report on time for the Cincinnati Bengals' training camp next weekend, but his surgically repaired ankle will probably prevent him from fully participating.
I was going through a situation where I felt a change was needed. It didn't work out. Hey, I'm back. Get ready for the show.
-- Chad Johnson
Johnson also said in a phone interview Monday that he wants to move on from his failed attempt to maneuver a trade. He had threatened to sit out the season if he wasn't dealt, but the Bengals refused to trade him, turning down an offer from Washington before the draft in April.
The Pro Bowl receiver tried to repair his relationship with Bengals fans during an interview with The Associated Press, part of a promotion for an NFL video that will be released Tuesday. He's unsure how fans will receive him at the outset.
"People take it in a different context when I say I want out and I'm not happy," Johnson said. "They think, 'He doesn't want to be in Cincinnati anymore, he's dissing us as fans.' It's not like that. I love my fans. I wasn't able to get that point across. They've supported me. They've been good to me, and I've been good to them.
"I was going through a situation where I felt a change was needed. It didn't work out. Hey, I'm back. Get ready for the show," he said.
Johnson showed up for a mandatory minicamp last month but didn't fully participate the first two days because of a sore right ankle. He had surgery to remove bone spurs on June 18. Johnson estimated that he's about 60 percent recovered and won't be able to go at full speed when the Bengals hold their first training camp workout next Monday in Georgetown, Ky.
"It's not where it needs to be," he said. "I can run, but I don't think I'm able to actually get right on the field and go at it. If I came back too early and reinjured myself, it would be a setback."
Johnson repeatedly declined to discuss the issues that led him to lobby for an offseason trade. He stopped talking to local media during a 7-9 season in which his flamboyant actions and a sideline quarrel with quarterback Carson Palmer raised questions about his commitment to the team.
Johnson lobbied for a trade in a series of interviews with out-of-town media in the offseason. He said he'll continue to refuse local interviews when training camp starts.
Some of his teammates, including Palmer, grew weary of Johnson's offseason comments. Johnson doesn't think his relationship with teammates or coach Marvin Lewis has suffered. He said he has sent text messages to Lewis about the frustrations of his ankle rehabilitation. He has also spoken with Palmer.
"I talk to Carson all the time," he said. "I don't have a choice. He's my quarterback."
Johnson is unsure of the reaction he'll get from fans. Many were turned off by his lobbying for a trade -- some even exchanged their Johnson jerseys for minor-league hockey tickets during one local promotion.
Chad Johnson stopped by ESPN.com for a chat on Monday. Wrap
Johnson agreed to a long-term deal with the Bengals two years ago. He'll get a $3 million base salary this season and is under contract with the Bengals through 2010. There's a club option for 2011.
"I'm still in Cincinnati," Johnson said. "This is one of those crazy things. I love Cincinnati. I love my fans. I love everything about it. I wasn't happy about certain things -- the business side of it -- and I spoke my mind and that was it.
"A true fan of mine knows what they've got. A true fan of mine sticks with me through thick and thin when things aren't going right. That's what a true fan does. Those that are upset because I spoke my mind? There's not much I can do but apologize," he said.
Johnson agreed to an interview to promote "NFL: In Just One Play," a DVD that includes footage and interviews with NFL playmakers. Johnson hosts the video, which includes a section on his catches and touchdown celebrations. He worked on the NFL-Warner Home Video production while at the Pro Bowl.
The video calls receivers the NFL's rock stars, a description that Johnson likes.
"They've always been flamboyant," Johnson said. "They've always been flashy. It's just something you have to have. When you're playing receiver, you have to have a certain stigma about you. All of us all have different characteristics and personalities, but we're all rock stars."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Harbaugh's brother: Family staying out of it
- Peyton intent on playing for Broncos in 2015
- Aaron Claus: QB buys Packers linemen TVs
- Pettine: Manziel will get chance to compete
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
TRAINING CAMP 2008
Commentary/featuresWarner proves he has future
The Cardinals gave Kurt Warner the chance to compete with Matt Leinart for the starting spot, and the 37-year-old quarterback made the most of the opportunity. John Clayton
Pennington's learning curve
It seemed the Jets could not help Chad Pennington pack his bags fast enough. Now the most experienced QB on the Dolphins, he's relishing the chance to excel again.
• Kreidler: Future still promising for 49ers' Smith
• Clayton: Injuries impact preseason
• Seifert: A new approach in Detroit
• Smith: Favre drama a reality check for McNabb
• Kuharsky: Titans focused on defense
• Sando: Running key for Holmgren's swan song
• Mosley: Giants hope history teaches well
• Garber: Coughlin distances from SB win
• Williamson: Chiefs engergized by youth
• Chadiha: O-line might hold real keys for Jets
• Wickersham: Three tips for Favre
• Mosley: Giants done with celebrating
• Naylor: Canadian divide on NFL invasion
• Graham: Sleeper Bills | Blog: Yo, Canada
• Seifert: For a change, no distractions for Vikes
• Mosley: McNabb confident Eagles among elite
• Kuharsky: Garrard taking control
• Mosley: Eagles poised to return to prominence
• Clayton: Young on his way to elite status
• Kuharsky: Garrard ready to lead Jags
• Chadiha: Delhomme determined to seize moment
• Yasinskas: Smith's approach suits Falcons
• Mosley: Zorn's coaching desire finally fulfilled
• Williamson: Young Raiders share Kiffin's hunger
• Graham: Jets wiping slate clean
• Chadiha: Turner ready to lead Falcons
• Clayton: Vikings firmly in Jackson's corner
• Walker: Tough schedule awaits Steelers in 2008
• Mosley: Favre is QB turned ringmaster
• Clayton: 5 reasons Favre would start for Pack
• Graham: Patriots not dwelling on past
• Sando: Rams optimistic despite questions
• Williamson: Shanahan points to playoffs
• Walker: Bengals look to move past chaos
• Yasinskas: Delhomme, Peppers must step up
NFL blog network• NFL Nation blog
• AFC: North | South | East | West
• NFC: North | South | East | West
• Contact our bloggers
Camp Confidential training camp tourA breakdown of our annual camp tour:
• Wednesday, July 30: Chargers, Cowboys
• Thursday, July 31: Texans, 49ers
• Friday, Aug. 1: Patriots
• Saturday, Aug. 2: Bengals, Panthers
• Sunday, Aug. 3: Broncos
• Monday, Aug. 4: Rams
• Tuesday, Aug. 5: Steelers
• Wednesday, Aug. 6: Jets
• Thursday, Aug. 7: Raiders | Redskins
• Friday, Aug. 8: Falcons
• Saturday, Aug. 9: Jaguars
• Tuesday, Aug. 12: Eagles | Vikings
• Wednesday, Aug. 13: Bills
• Thursday, Aug. 14: Chiefs
• Friday, Aug. 15: Giants | Seahawks
• Saturday, Aug. 16: Bucs | Lions
• Sunday, Aug. 17: Browns
• Monday, Aug. 18: Titans
Video• NFL Insiders on Bills, Broncos, more
• Rachel Nichols on Favre, Jets
• NFL Live dissects ESPN.com power rankings
Audio• Podcast: Biggest questions
Scouts Inc.• Camp outlook: AFC Q&A on X's and O's
• Camp outlook: NFC Q&A on X's and O's
• Notable quarterback battles